The scientific study of kissing is “philematology.”
The gang over at ScienceDaily.com confirm what I have suspected all along!
The article begins, “Mathematics anxiety can prompt a response in the brain similar to when a person experiences physical pain, according to new research at the University of Chicago.”
I knew it!!
Using brain scans, scholars determined that the brain areas active when highly math-anxious people prepare to do math overlap with the same brain areas that register the threat of bodily harm — and in some cases, physical pain.
“For someone who has math anxiety, the anticipation of doing math prompts a similar brain reaction as when they experience pain – say, burning one’s hand on a hot stove,” said Sian Beilock, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago and a leading expert on math anxiety.
Surprisingly, the researchers found it was the anticipation of having to do math, and not actually doing math itself, that looked like pain in the brain. “The brain activation does not happen during math performance, suggesting that it is not the math itself that hurts; rather the anticipation of math is painful,” added Ian Lyons, a 2012 PhD graduate in psychology from UChicago and a postdoctoral scholar at Western University in Ontario, Canada. 
The work by Lyons and Beilock suggests that, for those with math anxiety, a painful sense of dread may begin long before a person sits down to take a math test.
This reaction needs to be addressed like any other phobia, the researchers said. Rather than simply piling on math homework for students who are anxious about math, students need active help to become more comfortable with the subject, Beilock said.
Beilock’s work has shown, for instance, that writing about math anxieties before a test can reduce one’s worries and lead to better performance. 
 University of Chicago researchers have found that the higher a person’s anxiety about math, the more anticipating math activated areas of the brain related to experiencing pain. (Credit: Courtesy of Sian Beilock)
 The two report their findings in a paper, “When Math Hurts: Math Anxiety Predicts Pain Network Activation in Anticipation of Doing Math,” in the current issue of PLoS One.
I’ve had some people ask if there were any telltale signs that tend to tip me off that a person or group of persons would be added to the ever-widening “Why I Hate Almost Everyone” list.
Here is a brief inventory of some clues that would indicate that you’re a likely candidate for addition to The List…
This is what I could come up with off the top of my head this morning.
I have a feeling I will be adding to this list.
As the Ghost of Jacob Marley said, “It is a ponderous chain!”
 This is not to say I don’t also hate those who abuse women in private. But there’s a special seat in Hell reserved for those guys who do this in public. They’ve forfeited their right to be treated like human beings.
 I heard Lt. Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) blurt out this delightful expression the other night on Dexter. It is my word of the week!
A shocking news story, ripped from today’s headlines! 
Women are twice as likely as men to use emoticons  in text messages , according to a new study from Rice University.
The study, “A Longitudinal Study of Emoticon Use in Text Messaging from Smartphones,” used smartphone data from men and women over six months and aggregated 124,000 text messages. The participants were given free iPhones to use for the test period but didn’t know what researchers were investigating.
“We believe that our study represents the first naturalistic and longitudinal study that collects real emoticon use from text messages ‘in the wild,’” said Philip Kortum, assistant professor of psychology at Rice and one of the study’s authors.
The study also confirms previous research that women are more emotionally expressive in nonverbal communication,
Interestingly enough, however, the authors of this research found that while women may use emoticons more often than men, the men used a larger variety of emoticons to express themselves.
In other words, while female texters are ‘quantity emoticon users’, men are ‘quality emoticon users.’
Kortum and his co-authors  pointed out that their study is a glimpse into the complex nature of real mediated communications. They said that additional inquiry in real-world settings are needed to understand the complexities of human communications through technology.
 Actually, October 10, 2012… but you get the idea.
 Emoticons are graphic symbols that use punctuation marks and letters to represent facial expressions to convey a person’s mood, help provide context to a person’s textual communication and clarify a message that could otherwise possibly be misconstrued.
 Texting has become one of the most popular forms of communication in society worldwide. This year alone, it is estimated that 8 trillion text messages will be tapped out.
 The study’s co-authors were Chad Tossell, Clayton Shepard, Ahmad Rahmati and Lin Zhong, all of Rice University, and Laura Barg-Walkow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The study was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and appeared in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.
My dearly departed dad’s grave was desecrated years ago by some teenage hammerheads who probably had too much to drink and thought it would be cool to knock the statue of the Virgin Mary off the top of a tombstone.
That’s my guess, anyway. No one ever found out who did it.
In my mind, there is a very special seat in Hell for those who desecrate graves. 
Words simply cannot express the feelings of revulsion and impotent rage I experience when I see images of vandalized cemeteries.
It is an attack on all right-thinking members of society. It is an attack on common decency.
It is the ultimate act of cowardice.
I hate you. I detest you. I despise you. I loathe you.
As Queen Elizabeth the First of England once said, “G-d may forgive you… but I never can!”
 As an observant Jew, I do not believe in Hell in the Christian or Muslim sense of Eternal Damnation with no hope of repentance after death. The Jewish concept of punishment for sinners in the afterlife is more like the Catholic concept of ‘Purgatory.’ BUT… if there is a Hell, I am sure there are special seats reserved for guys who beat up prostitutes, men who rape children… and cemetery desecrators.
The folks over at MedicalDaily.com may be on to something!
In a recent article, it states that anger, not forgiveness, may be the key to maintaining a healthy relationship.
The time-honored tradition of forgive and forget may not be the best way to a happy marriage, psychologists revealed.
Instead, they claim that expressing your anger and having a heated but honest conversation could be more effective clearing the air and guaranteeing a long and healthy relationship.
Relationship psychologists at Florida State University said that forgiveness does not always work and could actually cause some major problems in an intimate relationship.
“I continued to find evidence that thoughts and behaviors presumed to be associated with better well-being lead to worse well-being among some people — usually the people who need the most help achieving well-being,” researcher James McNulty said in a statement.
McNulty looked at the potential costs of positive psychology by looking at previous studies and found that that forgiveness in a marriage can have some untended negative effects.
“We all experience a time in a relationship in which a partner transgresses against us in some way,” he said. “For example, a partner may be financially irresponsible, unfaithful, or unsupportive.”
He said that when these problems in the relationship occur, partners must decide whether they should be angry and to hold onto their anger or to forgive.
He discovered that a variety of factors can complicate the effectiveness of forgiveness, including a partner’s level of agreeableness and the severity and frequency of the wrongdoing.
He said that while an agreeable person who believes that their partner is forgiving is less likely to offend their partner, a disagreeable person may actually be more likely to offend their partner.
Furthermore, he said that anger can serve a vital role in signaling to a transgressing partner that their offensive behavior is not acceptable.
“If the partner can do something to resolve a problem that is likely to otherwise continue and negatively affect the relationship, people may experience long-term benefits by temporarily withholding forgiveness and expressing anger,” he said.
However, psychologists note that there is never a single answer to a problem.
“There is no ‘magic bullet,’ no single way to think or behave in a relationship. The consequences of each decision we make in our relationships depends on the circumstances that surround that decision,” he concluded.
I recently posted a blog article about some young teenage girls and their unfortunate habit of dressing for a body type other than their own.
Today I get to take a swing at the guys.
I’d like to set my sights on an equally repellent aspect that some men have, namely decking themselves out in a way that causes right-thinking members of society to want to claw their eyes out.
Young or old, middle class or poor, there is something about a guy who seems to be completely oblivious as to what he really looks like.
They can’t possibly leave the house knowing that they look the way they do!
And no normal self-respecting woman I know would ever let their guy leave the house looking like that!
And yet… there they are, infesting the aisles of the local Walmarts!
Each and every one of these clowns left the house thinking they look gooood!
They soooo don’t!
So guys… for the love of all that’s good and decent in the world…
JUST… STOP IT!
Important fashion tip for my damsels in distress ...
Ladies , I cannot over-state the importance of this little aphorism.
You may think you look scorchingly hot in that skimpy, sexy little outfit you squeezed into this morning. But unless you are anything other than slender… dare I say ‘willowy’… you (and perhaps a road crew) aren’t going to pull it off.
Be realistic. And I am not saying that anyone other than fashion models deserve to dress well. Heaven forfend.
BUT… if you are trying to dress like the runway models at New York Fashion Week and you kinda don’t look like them to start off with… you might want to lower your expectations just a titch.
Sadly, however, the young ladies with whom I usually deal do not aspire to haute couture. Far from it. From where I sit, it seems that some of them are in a fashion ‘race to the bottom.’
I’m not sure when ‘skanky’ became a ‘serious’ fashion choice but for heaven’s sake girls… knock it off. 
Yes, we all know you recently discovered that you have both the drive and the equipment. Congratulations. You’re right up there with… Every Other Girl.
As Spiderman said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Put another way, ‘your body is a temple… not an amusement park.’
And that includes dressing realistically. If you are tall, slender, perfectly proportioned with a pretty face and a great smile, ignore everything I just said. This article is not directed at you.
For the 99.9% of you who are not blessed with such award-winning genes, work with what you have… not what you wish you had.
You’ll look and feel so much better. And right-thinking members of society will thank you.
 As many of you know, I am a criminal defence lawyer in my ‘other’ (i.e. non-blogging, non-writing) life. As such, I am exposed to all manner of fashion disasters and couture tragedies. Usually I hold my tongue. Sometimes, I simply must speak out!
 Trust me… guys have this problem as well. More so in a later blog article!
 The entire subject of ‘slutty clothing’ will also be dealt with in another blog article. Girls who choose to dress modestly often get smart-ass remarks from the skankily-dressed set. An Orthodox Jewish high school girl I know was once asked why she dressed like someone just died. As Wednesday Addams would reply, “Wait.”
“The key to success is sincerity. One you can fake that, you got it made!”
French dramatist Jean Giraudoux was really onto something, at least when it comes to matters of the heart.
A recent MedicalDaily.com article reports, “Pretending that you find someone attractive increases your susceptibility to their charms and heightens your chances of truly falling in love with them, according to new relationship research.”
The latest findings  suggest that behavior can lead to certain emotions just as much as emotions can lead to behavior, and may offer explanations for the relative success of arranged marriages compared to conventional marriages.
Past research has shown that those in arranged marriages or those who have had their partner chosen for them by a parent or matchmaker, tend to feel more in love over time compared to those in regular marriages who feel less in love as time passes.
Lead researcher psychologist Richard Wiseman tested the theory of the “positive action” technique, which he believes could be used to not only accelerate feelings in new relationships but also rekindle them in older ones, by holding a speed dating night where some of the prospective partners were instructed to act as if they were already in love with each other.
“Just as people feel happier when they force their face into a smile, so pairs of people behaving as if they find one another attractive became emotionally close,” he said. “The assumption was that the emotion leads to the action or behavior but this shows it can happen the other way around, action can lead to emotions.”
“Behaving like you are in love can lead to actually falling in love. People are always going about positive thinking when this suggest positive action is just as valid,” Wiseman said. “We actually had a problem stopping people. We had go around pulling couples apart.”
“Actions are the quickest, easiest and most powerful way to instantly change how you think and feel,” he said.
 The findings are published in the professor’s new book Rip It Up, which is described as ‘ripping up the rule book, where Wiseman will present radical new insights into ways to improve your body and brain.